Finding the Demon's Fiddle
By Patrick Jered
'I was given this book by a tuk tuk driver in Jaipur, the very one that drives the author around! Not only was I interested to learn more about the connection between the devil and the fiddle (as up to the point that I looked at this book, I thought that 'The Devil Goes Down to Georgia' had pulled the idea from the sky), but Patrick Jered made me interested in learning more about Hinduism as well. I now have a full page of questions I want answered or gods I would like to know more about as a result of reading this book. I fully recommend this to anyone who will be visiting Rajasthan or India in general, or who had any interest in Hinduism.' - Reader Review on Amazon
In the prologue to Finding the Demon’s Fiddle, Patrick Jered describes his magical chance encounter with an ancient musical instrument one night in the desert town of Jaisalmer, India. He discovers that the ravanhattha – the demon’s fiddle – is the oldest ancestor of the violin. The myth of the fiddle’s creation, by the Hindu demon Ravana, reaches back thousands of years into the very earliest of Indian epic tales.
Finding the Demon’s Fiddle is a non-fiction account of a period the author spent travelling around India and Sri Lanka driven by his obsessive desire to uncover the facts about the demon’s fiddle and its demonic creator. An easy-going travel narrative is interwoven with fascinating details of the mythology, history, and religion surrounding the instrument. The book is loaded with under-stated humour and astute observations as Jered encounters a host of colourful characters ranging from street kids and musician-priests to Sri Lankan pop stars and infamous politicians.
More than anything, Finding the Demon’s Fiddle is a series of engaging tales that wind their way around the central travel narrative, and all arrive at their own – often surprising – conclusions. It is aimed at a general intelligent readership with no special interest in India or musical instruments.
Finding the Demon’s Fiddle was published in India and South Asia in March 2015 by the mainstream publishing house Westland/Tranquebar. It was met with great critical acclaim, receiving rave reviews in newspapers and magazines.
'A delightfully quirky book that requires no categorisation…characters that stay with you long after the journey is over…The length of the book becomes insignificant in the face of Jered's delightful, lucid style and obvious passion..' - Daily News and Analysis
'…it is Jered’s takeaways from the people of India that make this book such an endearing read…The book is not just about finding an instrument but following the music of one’s heart.' - Swarajaya Magazine
'…using the ravanhattha and the stories surrounding it as a lodestar, Jered begins his journey without maps, weaving together a picaresque tale which seamlessly blends ancient myths with the gritty realities of modern India.' - The New Indian Express
Published 2015 (Westland/Tranquebar)
ISBN: 9789385152023 - 608 pages - Hardback
European Rights Available (incl. World English)
Patrick Jered was born in the UK but has lived more than half of his life in The Netherlands. He is a professional medical writer, employed by a medical communications agency in Amsterdam. Patrick has written several newspaper and magazine articles reflecting his passion for music and travel. Finding the Demon’s Fiddle is his first full-length book. He is currently writing a book of short travel stories.